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Are You A Sustainability Leader?

04 January 2019 | Social

Speaker: Roxana Jaffer @ 10th Annual Sustainable Development Congress. UAE Dec 2018.

Are You a Sustainability Leader- RJ
Roxana opened the subject with the story of Jonah & the whale from the Old Testament. How Jonah – symbolising humanity – was saved by a whale from the wrath of God who sent a Tsunami to destroy him for not obeying His orders.
Today, she stressed, the need for returning favours was nigh.
Humanity must protect the Whale who is in danger of ‘plastication’.

Indeed protection of our natural environment, human and ecological health is the need of the hour.

As a priority, for the stability of organisms and environment we must strike an Ecological balance so a conducive environment, free from biological imbalances is created to avoid floods, fires, drought, windstorms, etc.

She believes this calls for collective efforts from us ALL in conducting ideal human activities. It cannot be the task of only Socially Responsible Corporates, NGO’s, Governments or the UN.

Are You a Sustainability Leader- RJ
The Kenyan proverb she quoted hit the audience like a spear in the heart.
Indeed the Earth is not to be vandalised for the pleasure of today’s mankind, but being on LOAN from our children SHOULD be looked after, for generations to come.
Are You a Sustainability Leader- RJ
Her plea was loud and clear.
Our natural environment is in need of protection whether by being conscious of scarcity of water or reduction of the carbon footprint, of the global hungry, of ozone depletion, ocean acidification… the list went on and on ……

The dramatic pictures of forest fires, ocean acidification, plastic pollution of dried river beds in Tanzania with young children fetching contaminated water whilst losing schooling time, juxtaposed with the increase of water consumption to the……
Are You a Sustainability Leader- RJ
image of 33% of our food being wasted versus the increase in the global hungry…..

brought things home vividly.

Are You a Sustainability Leader- RJ
It is researched that by 2050, the global population is going to rise from 7.7 billion to 9 billion of which 1 billion – 1 in 9 – are going to be without food and 1.5 billion – 1 in 6- are going to be without safe drinking water.

So the question posed is: “Is it only the responsibility of government bodies, NGO’s, UN or each one of us to become Sustainability Conscious?”

Are You a Sustainability Leader- RJ
Roxana DEMANDED that we all become Sustainability leaders, whether, INDIVIDUALS OR BUSINESS OWNERS

If the challenged child in the video could help make a difference, she was confident that all of us, able minded, able-bodied individuals could begin to start looking after the environment that was loaned to us by our children.
Are You a Sustainability Leader- RJ
Roxana highlighted simple attributes of a Sustainability leader so we could instil simple changes in our daily life for:

Water conservation: At basins, showers and toilet use. By water re-use and effective water treatment technologies.
By desalination

Carbon footprint: By Installing Energy Saving Devices By reducing the use of electrical appliances. Recycling and reducing waste Composting fruit and veg leftovers
Are You a Sustainability Leader- RJ
Ways to fight against global hunger: Sustainable Food donation, domestic organic farming, aiding access to education, social exchange, birth control education

Ozone depletion: banning use of chemicals causing ozone depletion, such as chlorofluorocarbons and hydro fluorocarbons.

Ocean acidification: By disusing machinery that emit Carbon Dioxide, ocean management, moving from Fossil Fuels to Renewables.

Are You a Sustainability Leader- RJ
Roxana highlighted that the hospitality industry should play an important role in protecting our natural environment.

Holiday Inn Dubai – Al Barsha does and has won CSR Arabia Award for 3 running years as the only Hotel from 10 Arab countries that has implemented ways to contribute for a healthy environment.
Are You a Sustainability Leader- RJ
The hotel has challenged the norms and has achieved desired results.
Some practices adopted are listed below:

Installing an efficient Building Management system to monitor energy usage.
Installing, LED lighting to help reduce carbon footprint.
Educating room guests to save water through polite reminders at wash basins and toilet flushes.
Training staff regularly for energy conservation practices.
Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) installed on heavy motors to help control energy.
Preventive maintenance practices are in place to enhance the life of product and to perform utmost efficiency.
Are You a Sustainability Leader- RJ
Holiday Inn has learned the merit of recycling, reusing and reducing rubbish and helping the landfill.

It is with these attributes and others that this small 310 room hotel with 300 staff become known as a responsible business and become a Sustainability Leader.
At Holiday Inn Dubai Al Barsha, we believe our hotel is a Sustainability Leader and we breed individual Sustainability Leaders who when they return to their homes or go to other establishments take the learning home with them.
We are proud to know we Lead by example in our actions.

We are proud to know that we are responsible for ourselves, our job, and our organization, that we hold our hotel accountable and to lead by example.

And we are proud to know as role – models that we are followed by others who want to ensure that the environment on loan to us is returned to our children safe and sound and as representatives of Jonah, we try to repay the whale that saved humanity

Last but not least, Roxana THANKED Dr Alleem for being the exemplary Sustainability leader, for his hard work in running these congresses for the decade, for educating several thousands in making UAE and indeed the globe green.

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